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Hackney charity worker hoping to make a change

PUBLISHED: 13:00 05 January 2016

Members of the Hackney South and Shoreditch BAME forum with Meg Miller MP

Members of the Hackney South and Shoreditch BAME forum with Meg Miller MP

Archant

A charity worker from Hackney who was mugged at knifepoint is now determined to on making a difference.

Ray Ripon, 37, of Hackney South, was walking home one evening when two balaclava-clad young men attacked and mugged him at knifepoint.

The attack happened along Gore Road – towards Skipworth Road – in December 2013.

He is now involved in politics after setting up the Hackney South and Shoreditch Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) forum.

He said: “When I was attacked, I was angry, furious. I felt my liberty was violated. It is one of those experiences which are difficult to explain unless you experience it personally.

“I also felt that something ought to be done in my locality. I approached the council and my local councillors in relation to lighting and police presence around Victoria Park.

“What was interesting for me was that I got to know like minded people as a result of my experience who are in the Hackney Labour Party.

The 37-year-old set up the Hackney South and Shoreditch BAME forum in order to create an environment for members to share concerns.

Mr Ripon added: “The purpose of the forum is to identify what diverse members in Hackney South are seeking in the party, develop their potential and create a supporting environment where they can raise their concerns.

“In many parts of Hackney there is more minority residents than non-minority.

“However, the political spectrum in Hackney Council does not reflect that. I hope more can be done and I hope to play a part in this.

Mr Ripon now wants to make sure that members feel like their voices are heard and properley represented.

He added: “As I was looking for positive things to do once I was involved in Hackney Labour Party.

“I noticed that the voice of ethnic minority members were not very well represented.

“I personally felt, there could be more done to hear minority voices, interests and concerns.”

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